Fire chiefs warn of dangerous costumes ahead of Halloween

A burning Halloween costume.
A burning Halloween costume.
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Fire chiefs have issued a warning about dangerous costumes ahead of Halloweeen

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is calling for parents to be aware of the dangers of fire if their children are dressing up.

A burning Halloween costume.

A burning Halloween costume.

Calls for fancy dress costumes to be classed as clothing, rather than toys, received high profile attention after TV and radio presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter Matilda was badly burned while out trick-or-treating in 2014.

Halloween costumes often have tassels, capes and other adornments that can trail and easily catch alight if they accidentally brush against a flame, which is why it is crucial that candles are kept well away from flammable items to minimise the risk of a serious fire and injury.

Candles are one of the biggest causes of fires in the home and although they can be used to create a dark and spooky atmosphere, they should never be left unattended or you could risk finding a real horror scene on your return.

TWFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: “Halloween has become more and more popular in recent years, and it is a time for children and their families to have fun dressing up. But I would urge parents to take extra care to prevent it becoming a real life nightmare.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone having Halloween parties to be vigilant about the dangers of candles, pumpkin lanterns, open fires and fireworks and to please have the appropriate safety measures in place and to hand.

“If you are buying costumes for children, always read the labels first and check that they meet British safety standards.

“Children should also be taught the stop, drop and roll technique in case their clothing catches fire.”

To see a short video on how to stop, drop and roll visit

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